Author Topic: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!  (Read 8269 times)

LEE

Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
« Reply #25 on: April 04, 2010, 11:36:21 pm »
I'll use a combination of circular saw and a reciprocating saw to get through them, a chainsaw would be ideal.  They are fairly soft (the exposed side is pretty crumbly) but thick enough to last for years (250mm x 150mm x 2.6m).

I'll get a load of Timberlok bolts from Ebay next.

As for doing things by half, well, we've been here 15 years and there's no reason to move.  We're lucky to have a fairly large, and relatively unused, "spare" section of SW-facing garden and my wife has "green-fingers".  It's not really about money as such as it will take years, if ever, to recoup any outlay, more about the principle.  We want to eat seasonally and be less dependant.  This seems a perfect way of doing it.

The long-term plan (I don't want to wish my life away) is a Hectare or so in SW France but life can sometimes scupper long-term plans so we thought we'd have a crack at it now.

Next year we should have 4 deep beds, 2.6m x 1.3m.  We've already got some spuds planted in deep soil containers and raspberrys bushes planted.  Not exactly self-sufficiency scale but I intend to savour every mouthful next year.

The Wendy-House may turn into a greenhouse yet (ironic because there used to be a Greenhouse there but we didn't know what to do with so many Tomatoes at the time).

Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2010, 09:45:38 am »
Them realmcoy railway sleepers will last for years&years.I have some forming the edge of a dropped part of the bottom lawn which have been in situ for several years.Two sides of each sleeper are buried & show no sign of deterioration.Cutting them down to size is a career job without some decent tools
Probably because they're soaked in diesel and lubricating oil from the trains, as well as the original preservative.   What sort of wood are they, anyway?
Never tell me the odds.

LEE

Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2010, 11:42:47 am »
Them realmcoy railway sleepers will last for years&years.I have some forming the edge of a dropped part of the bottom lawn which have been in situ for several years.Two sides of each sleeper are buried & show no sign of deterioration.Cutting them down to size is a career job without some decent tools
Probably because they're soaked in diesel and lubricating oil from the trains, as well as the original preservative.   What sort of wood are they, anyway?

Mine are untreated African Azobe from the French Rail network (uksleepers.co.uk).  They are rated safe for veggie plots and playgrounds.

Plenty of different types to choose from.

LEE

Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
« Reply #28 on: April 22, 2010, 09:59:47 am »
Well, the process has started.

Stage 1, a Lorry with crane dropped about 2 tons of reclaimed (untreated)Railway Sleepers over my fence last week.  24 Sleepers didn't seem that many until they turned up because I was going to do the raised beds 2 sleepers high.  Now I can see them I think that may be excessive but what do you do with spare sleepers? 



Stage 2, start moving them to the rear of the garage (lucky my son is home from Uni because these things are heavy)



Stage 3, The old swing and climbing frame need to go.  That section of lawn will be raised beds.  That "Wendy House" will be gone next year for a 4th bed if the first 3 beds are a success.  A double height bed will take 6 sleeper (with some extensive sawing in half of sleepers to form end sections.  2.6m x 1.3m per bed)



Stage 4, why bother with the Gym when you can stack 24 of these things?



Stage 5, include a gratuitous bike picture as an idicator of how big these things are. 



Now to get them onto the lawn and order some soil.

Watch this space.

J.H. Christ!  My back is sore now, but I love it when a plan comes together.

Those sleepers may be a bit crumbly on the outside but they are like granite once you get below the surface.

I snapped 2 10mm auger bits trying to drill through them (Even Timberlok bolts won't penetrate them without drilling first)

Now I will hand them over to my green-fingered Wife.


Regulator

  • That's Councillor Regulator to you...
Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
« Reply #29 on: April 22, 2010, 10:24:42 am »
Where did you order your sleepers from Lee?  I'm in the market for some...
Quote from: clarion
I completely agree with Reg.

Green Party Councillor

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
« Reply #30 on: April 22, 2010, 10:27:36 am »
Woody Allen?  Louise Wener?
Getting there...

LEE

Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
« Reply #31 on: April 22, 2010, 11:09:04 am »
Where did you order your sleepers from Lee?  I'm in the market for some...
Uk Sleepers

I got the reclaimed, untreated, African Azobe.  2600x250x150.  They are pretty rough and battered (errr..rustic) but do the job perfectly. 

Cutting them was pretty easy, I went around with a circular saw first.  That left a section in the centre about 2"x 4" that I cut with a handsaw.

I used Timberlok bolts 250mm from Bunnys Bolts

I needed 6 cubic metres of soil.  Hampshire Turf sent me some superb stuff in cubic metre bags.  I got 4 bags of their screened soil and 2 bags of their superb compost/soil-conditioner.  The compost seems like superb stuff, it was hot to the touch as I was digging it out of the bags, usually a sign of a good active compost.

Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
« Reply #32 on: April 22, 2010, 11:24:33 am »
... The compost seems like superb stuff, it was hot to the touch as I was digging it out of the bags, usually a sign of a good active compost.

Either that or it's come from Sellafield. ;D
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

LEE

Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
« Reply #33 on: May 23, 2010, 07:09:40 pm »
It's ALIVE!!


Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
« Reply #34 on: May 23, 2010, 07:23:21 pm »
It looks like the H--------- family plot.  In more ways than one.
Never tell me the odds.

LEE

Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
« Reply #35 on: June 22, 2010, 02:18:23 pm »
It's MORE ALIVE!


We're actually eating stuff now, New potatoes, Lettuce, Radish (why?) although it's still a bit too early.

The way it's suddenly filling out I reckon it should peak just as we go away on holidays in July/Aug.



RJ

  • Droll rat
Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
« Reply #36 on: June 23, 2010, 01:29:16 pm »

The way it's suddenly filling out I reckon it should peak just as we go away on holidays in July/Aug.


That's traditional (and therefore good ...  :-\)

LEE

Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
« Reply #37 on: June 04, 2011, 11:15:27 pm »
2011 update

My wife spent the day pulling Garlic & Onions and then plaiting them.

Here are the Garlic cloves, I suspect we will be having Garlic in everything this year.

Amazing increase in yield this year.  Maybe the soil has compacted a bit and is more suited to onions and garlic. 



Regulator

  • That's Councillor Regulator to you...
Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
« Reply #38 on: June 06, 2011, 06:50:21 am »
Can I borrow your wife?  I hae loads of garlic and onions that will be ready soon - but I can't plait....
Quote from: clarion
I completely agree with Reg.

Green Party Councillor

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Where once there was grass, now there are raised beds!
« Reply #39 on: June 06, 2011, 04:02:35 pm »
Can I borrow your wife?  I hae loads of garlic and onions that will be ready soon - but I can't plait....

You could learn, like I did off the telly when I was about six.

Divide into three bunches.


Place left most bunch in the centre.
Place right most bunch in the centre.

Place left most bunch in the centre.
Place right most bunch in the centre.

Place left most bunch in the centre.
Place right most bunch in the centre.

Place left most bunch in the centre.
Place right most bunch in the centre.

Repeat ad nauseam.

That is all.